Navratri has begun and the whole nation looks beautiful in all those bright lights and decoration. Durga Pandals, Navratri venues, food stalls and fairs; you will see these in every nook and corner of most part of the country. Dussehra being just few days away, India is all prepared to celebrate Dussehra that falls on the 11th of this month this year. Dussehra also popularly known as Vijayadashami is one of the largest and the most celebrated festivals of India. Dussehra is celebrated after the nine days of dancing and fun of Navratri. The word Dussehra was derived from the Sanskrit word Dasha-Hara which also means Ravanas defeat. Dussehra is celebrated to honor the victory of good over evil and there are many stories that symbolize the significance of Dussehra. However, among all the stories the most popular ones are Durgas victory over the demon Mahishasura and also Rams victory over Ravan. According to mythology, it is said that it was on this day that Durga after being given life by the Gods of the universe killed Mahishasura who was a demon and was wrecking havoc in the world. This story has been spoken about many times. The other story is about Ram killing Ravan. On the day of Dussehra, as a part of celebrations, the effigy of the ten headed demon- Ravan is also burned. This marks the victory of good over evil and hence the whole country celebrates Dussehra with much pomp and joy. Also Read - Angrezi Medium Releases Again! This Time Online Due to Increase in COVID-19 Cases, Read Details
This festival is celebrated in the month of Ashwin as per the Hindu calendar and that often falls in the months of September or October. Since it is also the start of harvest time in India and Nepal, Dussehra is celebrated with much pomp and dedication. The celebrations of Dussehra obviously differ in each state and city. Listed below are some of the best places in India that are perfect for Dussehra celebrations. From Kolkata to Mysore, there are many places in India that celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm and energy. The cities don a different look with brightly lit up streets and the hustle bustle of people. Take a look at our list. Also Read - Formula One is in a Very Fragile State at The Moment: McLaren CEO
ALSO SEE How is Dussehra celebrated in India Also Read - Mumbai's Wockhardt Hospital Declared Containment Zone as 26 Nurses, 3 Doctors Test Positive For COVID-19
This is possibly one of the best places all over India to witness Dussehra celebrations done on a grand scale. Popularly known as Durga Puja, during this period Kolkata can be seen in all her glory. Durga Puja brings in a lot of hustle bustle and vibrancy to the palace. You will see women dressed up in new, traditional clothes; all decked up visiting different Durga pandals. As you walk down the streets of Kolkata, the colorfully LED lights, religious music like Rabindra Sangeet is what you will be treated to. You must visit Kolkata at least once in a life time during Dussehra to see the dedication and energy with which people celebrated his festival. While visiting Durga Puja Pandals around the city is the most significant part of celebrations, people in Kolkata also do not miss out on the chance of relishing on street side delicacies. The four day celebration ins Kolkata is a much awaited one and on the last day married women wear the traditional red and white sarees and smear Sindoor on each other. You should be here to believe the rich culture and tradition that Kolkata has.
Dasara, as it is called in Karnataka is also one of their most celebrated festivals. The tradition of celebrating Dasara in Karnataka is at least 400 years old. Mysore in Karnataka is the only place that celebrates this ten days festival with so much pomp and extravaganza. The royals of Mysore have always been bringing in this festival in Mysore Palace. The entire palace is lit up for the auspicious occasion. The palace is lit up for ten long days till the festival is over. And what makes the festival worth watching here is the grand processions that takes place on the last day. It is truly a sight worth watching. Elephants form a major part of the celebrations and one of them caries the gold canopy of Chamudneshwaris idol. This idol is paraded from Mysore Palace and ends at Bannimantap. There are also stories about how Mysore got its name and it said that the name was derived from Mahishasura who was killed by Chamundeswari, a form of Durga. It is said that Mysore place is lit up with at least one lac lights and each day over a core is spend for the preparations and decorations. On the last day, the Mysore Palace looks nothing less than pure magic and it is sight to behold. You can also be lucky enough to witness many performances by renowned artists and most of these performances are depictions of mythology. Apart from the beautifully ornamented elephants parading the streets and the stunningly lit up Mysore Palace, Dussehra in Mysore also mean indulging in gastronomical pleasures.
Kullu in Himachal Pradesh has always been one of the biggest tourist destinations of India and why not, the beauty and allure of this place is for everybody to see. But what adds up to the beauty and charm of Kullu are the many festivals that it celebrates with so many extravaganzas, Dussehra being one of them. Dussehra in Kullu is also a royal led festival that goes on for seven days. The twist here is that unlike in other place where the idols of Gods and Goddesses are carried out on chariots or Elephants, here the idols are carried out on the heads of devotes that take an active part in the procession. This procession ends at a ground where they meet the idol of Raghunath who is the main God of this region. The history that goes back to the 17th century states that King Jagat Singh had installed the idol of Raghunath on his throne, after which Raghunath was also declared as the main deity of the Kullu valley. On the last day, the procession is taken to the beautiful River Beas where you will already find wood pieces collected to be set up on fire. This is their way of symbolizing the epic story of Lanka burning. Be a part of this procession and fanfare that is also attended by devotes and explorers from all around the globe. Also the celebrations here begin from the 10th day of Dussehra and go on for a week. Meanwhile, if you also have some time on your hands you can also get a glimpse of the culture of Kullu at their local fair during Dussehra.
ALSO READ Dussehra 2016: Importance and significance of Dasara, Vijayadashmi
Delhi, Indias capital also brings in the beautiful festival of Dussehra in the most entertaining manner. Nine days of nonstop fun, dancing and fanfare, Delhi has its own distinct way of celebrating Dussehra. On the last day when people burn the effigy of Ravana, the streets are filled with the noise and lights of fireworks. Delhi is also popular for hosting some of the best Ramilila shows at the Ramilila Maidan and also at the Red First grounds. The sight of towering Ravana effigies, Ramlila shows, fireworks, people dressed up traditionally and also the several food stall that sell delicious food makes for a perfect reason for you to visit Delhi during Dussehra.
ALSO SEE Ravan Dahan in Delhi: 5 best Delhi Ramlila shows
Dussehra in Varanasi, one of the holiest places of India is an experience that you must have. Varanasi has the perfect combination of Delhi like Ramilil shows and also Kolkata like Durga puja. One of the most popular Ramlila show is held at Ramnagar that is approximately 15 km from Varanasi. The tradition of organizing Ramlila shows was initiated by the King of Kashi that goes on even today. This festival brings the whole city of Varanasi back to life with festive mood spread all over. For ten long days, Varanasi remains favorite place of visit for devotees.
Though Barara is a quaint and unheard town in Harayana, this town becomes the centre of attention during Dussehra. This town has already listed itself in the Limca Book of Records for burning the tallest effigy of Ravana in the whole world. And with every passing year, the inches only add up. In 2013, Barara had made news for burning a 200 feet tall effigy of Ravana that became 215 feet in 2015. This year it is said that Barara is all set to burn a 210 feet tall effigy breaking its own records. Also the firecrackers used in burning the effigy are all eco-friendly. You must visit Barara for its unique Dussehra celebrations. Barara is situated approximately 80 km from Chandigarh.
Bastar situated in Chattisgarh is another place where Dussehra celebrations happen in a distinct way. Home to the famous Dandakaranya jungles, this is the same spot where Rama is believed to have spent some time here during his exile period. Bastar also hosts one of the longest Dusehra celebrations that go on for 75 days and there are many tribes that perform various puja and worship Danteswari. The celerbatsuons in Bastar give you an insight of the tribal culture of this quaint town. During Dussehra deities from nearby villages are also brought to the Danteswari temple. You will also get to see many fascinating sights like a possessed lady, a bug chariot or someone swinging comfortably on a bed of thorns. So, because Dussehra here is not celebrated to mark the victory fo good over evil, this particular town celebrates in dedication to Danteswari goddess.
Have interesting travel photos youd like to share with us? Send photos from your travels to firstname.lastname@example.org, dont forget to mention where youve shot the picture and get a chance to be featured on our website! So what are you waiting for? Hurry!
Have something to add to this story? Post your comments in the discussion board below; we will be thrilled to hear from you!